February 28th, 2011

Last American WWI Veteran Passes at Age 110

Frank Buckles, the last living American WWI veteran, passed away Sunday at his home in Charles Town, West Virginia. He was 110 years old, having marked his 110th birthday on February 1, 2011. In recent years, Buckles worked with groups seeking to establish a Memorial in Washington, DC for all WWI veterans. READ Related Story.

Rest in peace Mr. Buckles — we salute you for your service, as we salute your fellow soldiers who passed before you. 4,734,991 Americans served in uniform during World War I. They fought on land and sea, in the first true global conflict. By the end of WWI over 15,000,000 soldiers and civilians worldwide had died in that conflict, including 120,000 Americans (as many from disease as from wounds). A thousand U.S. soldiers died every DAY in the 3-week Meuse-Argonne offensive.

The Last Doughboy
Army veteran Frank Buckles was the last surviving American “Doughboy” who fought in Europe in “The Great War”. His story is a profile in patriotism (and youthful exuberance). When only 16 years old, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marines. They turned him down, so he joined the Army, lying about his age. He served in Britain and France as an ambulance driver, then helped escort German prisoners home to Germany after the surrender.

In an interview a few years ago, Buckles recalled his service in the Great War, explaining why he joined the Army at age 16: “When your nation calls,” Buckles said, “you have to go”. (Read recent interview.)

WWI veteranWWI veteran

Following WWI, Buckles wanted to see the world, so he took work with a steamship company. That job placed him in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. He was captured and interred in a prison camp for three years before being liberated. To learn more about Frank Buckles and his experiences in WWI and WWII, CLICK HERE for USAToday Feature Story. (Highly recommended–worth reading.)

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February 28th, 2011

CMP Seeks Counselors for 2011 CMP Air Rifle Summer Camp

CMP Summer ProgramThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is seeking college-age counselors for its highly popular Three-Position Air Rifle Summer Camps for high school athletes. Camp Counselor positions are open to collegians who have completed at least one year of college and are members of an NCAA or college club rifle team.

Applicants must be available to work and travel from 24 May through 29 July 2011. Selection will be based on academic performance, shooting experience, coaching and youth leadership experience, and references.

CMP Summer Camp Counselor Announcement | CMP Summer Camp Counselor Application

DEADLINE: Applications must be received by 18 March 2011.

Counselors are paid $400-$500 per week (depending on seniority) plus $30 daily per diem. All travel and lodging costs are covered by the CMP once the camps begin, though the counselors must provide their own transport to the training location (Anniston, AL) and back home at the end of the summer. Job duties primarily consist of working with groups of five or more high school athletes at five-day summer camps, following a camp curriculum designed by DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson.

CMP Summer Camp

Interested candidates may download an Application from the link below and send it to Sommer Wood, CMP Summer Rifle Camps, P. O. Box 576, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452. Forms may be faxed to Sommer Wood at: (419) 635-2573. Email questions to swood@odcmp.com. Applications must be received by 18 March 2011. Applicant notification will be mailed by 4 April 2011.

CLICK HERE for CMP Summer Camp Counselor Application Form.

Employment will begin on 24 May with a training session at CMP South Headquarters in Anniston, AL. The 2011 camp schedule includes five full-length, three-position air rifle camps, one advanced standing position camp, providing support staff at the Three-Position National Junior Olympics and a three-day air rifle clinic. The staff will have the week of 9-16 July off to compete in the USA Shooting National Championships. A complete 2011 camp schedule is provided below:

CMP Summer Program

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February 27th, 2011

New Cannon Commander Safe Has the ‘Right Stuff’

Cannon Safe has a new series of gunsafes with many smart features that we wish were found on ALL premium safes. There are many other quality safes out there, but we were pleased to see how Cannon equips its new Commander Series Safes. Whether you end up with a Cannon safe or not, if you are shopping for large gun safes, check to see whether it offers these important features found in the Cannon Commanders:

Reinforced Steel Frame
Cannon Commanders has a 5.75″ double-steel composite door, double-steel reinforced door frame, multiple re-lockers and 1.5″ active-locking bolts on the top, side and bottom of the door. Each safe is predrilled for floor bolting.

High-Quality Lock
Too many gunsafes have cheap digital locks that can fail unpredictably. We recommend that all gunsafes have commercial grade rotary (mechanical), or digital locks. On Cannon’s Commander safes, contents are accessed with a commercial grade Type 1 electronic lock that is backlit and protected with three layers of extra-hard 60+ RC steel hard-plate. You can also order a mechanical lock if you prefer. A good commercial-grade mechanical lock, maintained properly, will last a couple lifetimes.

Door Seal that Expands with Heat
A good door seal is really important in the “real world” ability of a safe to protect its contents during a fire. Many other safes claim fire-protection because they have some sheet rock panels inside, but they lack critical door-sealing. The Commander Series has an Intertek-ETL verified fire rating of 1200° F for 90 minutes and features a triple fin intumescent cold smoke expandable seal and heat-activated door seal that expands when exposed to heat.

Internal Power and Computer Hook-ups
A state-of-the-art internal power supply system with two 110 power outlets, USB port and RJ45 Ethernet connection keep computers and other electronics charged and connected. An electric dehumidifier is available as an option.

Built-In LED Lighting
In our Gun Safe Buyers’ Guide, we recommend the use of efficient LED light clusters. Cannon has gone this one better, with multidirectional LED lights that activate when the door is opened and shut off when closed, providing a bright clear view of the safe’s contents.

Versatile Door Storage System
Many safe owners like to use the door for rapid access to handguns, knives, Maglites, tools, and other security gear. The Cannon Commander Safes ship with a custom door panel organizer that holds dozens of handguns and accessories.

Cannon Commander Safes are offered in two models and six colors (gloss black, matte black, gray, white, tan, dark red, and green). Cannon offers a lifetime, hassle-free, zero-cost warranty. If a Cannon safe is ever damaged due to a fire, natural flood, or burglary Cannon will cover all costs to repair or replace the safe, even if the owner is not the original purchaser. (Contents are not covered).

Model: Commander CO43
Factory-Direct Price: $3,149.21
Weight:1457 lbs.
Dimensions:72”x40”x28” (depth includes dial and handle)
Gun Capacity: 36 (actual capacity can vary depending on gun size)

Model: Commander CO54
Factory-Direct Price: $3,519.81
Weight:1672 lbs.
Dimensions:72”x50”x28” (depth includes dial and handle)
Gun Capacity: 48 (actual capacity can vary depending on gun size)

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February 26th, 2011

New AR-Comp Powder from Alliant — Swedish Varget?

Alliant AR-Comp Powder SwedenHere’s important news for handloaders. Alliant Powder has introduced a new medium-burn-rate powder: AR-Comp™. This new powder was developed specifically for AR-style rifles. Alliant says that AR-Comp powder is “ideally suited for heavy .223 and .308 match bullets”. We presume, from that description, that the powder will have a burn rate similar to Varget. The AR-Comp powder, produced in Sweden by Bofors Nobel, is an enhanced temp-insensitive reformulation of Reloder 15. The burn rate is slightly faster than Reloder 15, according to Alliant.

Alliant Claims AR-Comp is NOT Temp-Sensitive
We have limited information about AR-Comp, and we have not yet been supplied with a test sample. We have confirmed is a double-base extruded powder, and is an upgraded version of the Reloder 15 formulation. Alliant claims the powder meters very well and delivers “consistent pressures and velocities across temperature extremes”. This new powder is supposed to be very uniform from lot to lot. That would be great — if it is true — but only time will tell.

We will try to get a sample of AR-Comp soon and test it in both .223 Rem and .308 Win rifles. We suspect, if AR-Comp suits both the .223 Rem and .308 Win, it should work well in the 6mmBR and 6.5×47 Lapua cartridges as well. Stay tuned — we hope to have more info next week. AR-Comp should be hitting the market in June or July, 2011, provided DOT Classification goes smoothly. It will be offered in both one-pound (#150664) and 8-lb (#150665) containers.

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February 26th, 2011

New Neck-Turning Tool Holder from 21st Century Shooting

The wizard tool designer who runs 21st Century Shooting has invented a clever yet inexpensive new bench accessory that makes it much easier to turn case-necks. 21st Century’s new Neck Turning Tool Swivel Bracket gives you a “third hand” when using the 21st Century Neck Turning Tool, simplifying the process of neck turning, particularly when using power.

neck turning tool bracket

CNC-machined from aluminum billet, 21st Century’s Swivel Bracket mounts right on your bench. You can either attach it semi-permanently with screws or simply clamp it in place. Adjust your neck-turning tool (red unit in photo), at any angle from 0-90°, for best viewing of the cutter operation. With your neck-turning tool attached to the bracket, you have easy access to the arbor adjustment screw, arbor screw clamp, and the bracket rotation clamp screw. Once you’ve adjusted the angle, and locked the neck turner in place with the supplied Allen wrench, you can concentrate on turning the case, either by hand, or with power assist. The neck-turning tool is held securely; however, rubber bushings on the bracket allow the neck-turning tool to “float” just enough to work properly when using power.

This new Neck Turning Tool Swivel Bracket is simple, but very effective. It really does help you turn necks with greater ease and a greater sense of security. Importantly, the bracket lessens hand fatigue. No more “cramped hand syndrome” from struggling to hold the neck-turner steady. We really like this little device, and it only costs $19.95. However, for the time being, the Swivel Bracket ONLY works with the 21st Century Neck Turning Tool — it does NOT work with a Hornady, K&M, Neilson, or Sinclair Neck Turning Tools. For more info, call 260-273-9909 or visit 21stCenturyShooting.com.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
February 25th, 2011

Manners Stocks Now Offers Molded-in Camo Finishes

Manners Composite StocksTom Manners of Manners Composite Stocks, makes very high-quality, stiff rifle stocks. Tom has designs for hunters, varminters, F-Class Shooters, and tactical shooters. All his stocks are strong for their weight, and you can count on a Manners stock to have correct geometry and first-rate build quality.

However, until recently, if you wanted a Manners stock with a molded-in finished, you had to settle for a solid color, in some variation of tan, green, gray, or black. That has changed. Manners Composite Stocks now offers molded-in camo, multi-color stock finishes. You can get these molded-in MSC Camo finishes for no extra charge over the regular price of the stock.

Manners’ MCS Camo color schemes consist of three colors: a base, which is usually 40%, and two lesser colors that usually are 30% each of the total finish. Tom reports: “We do our best to maintain the color balance of the Camo, but each one is done by hand and two stocks are never the same. There are 5 different molded-in versions of our MCS-Camo and 2 solid colors (OD Green and Coyote Tan).” The molded-in finishes are currently offered for the following stock models: MCS-T, TA, T2, T3, T4, T4quad, T5 and T5A; Special Order: Mcs-T4A and T2A.

Tom tells us: “The molded-in finishes are smooth compared to our painted finishes. For the guys that like the textured feel of our painted stock but want the durability of a molded-in finish, for $35.00 extra, we offer the ArmourGrip option — a textured dead flat clear finish that is applied to the stock.”

Custom Painted Finishes Offered Also
In addition to the new line of molded-in finishes, for an extra fee, you can order a custom, painted finish. This can be applied to either the stock, or to the complete rifle (more coverage is more money). Samples of custom paint jobs are shown below. All colors are a dead flat finish to minimize light reflection and have a non-slip pebble finish. The polyurethane enamel paint used is very durable. But, like all paints, it will scratch if dragged over rocks, limbs, and other sharp surfaces.

Manners Composite Stocks PAINTED FINISH Samples (other styles offered.)

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February 24th, 2011

Match Schedules Set by 1000-Yard Shooting Clubs

NC BR 1000 Yard Association

Both the North Carolina 1000-Yard Benchrest Shooters Assn. and the Montana NW 1000-Yard Benchrest Club have released their 2011 match schedules. You can access the schedules via the links below:

NC 1000-Yard BRSA Schedule

2011 Matches
Match | Date
1 & 2: 4-9-11
3 & 4: 4-30-11
5 & 6: 5-14-11
7 & 8: 6-4-11
Makeup: 7-16-11*
9 & 10: 9-10-11
Makeup: 10-8-11*

*Shot only if regularly scheduled matches are postponed due to inclement weather.

Montana NW 1000-Yard BR Club Schedule

2011 Match Dates
March 26-27
April 23-24
May 14-15
June 11-12
July 9-10.
August 12-14 Championship Shoot

Extra practice days are: March 13th, April 10th, March 26-27, April 23-24, May 14-15, June 11-12, July 9-10.

The 1000 Yard Range is available for practice on Mondays and Fridays, March 1st to August 31st, from 8:00 AM until Noon. We will have the range all day on Friday before each shoot.

NC BR 1000 Yard Association

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February 24th, 2011

Montana X-Treme Solvents Now in Aluminum Bottles

If you’re looking to stock up on cleaning solvents, and you don’t want to carry around fragile glass bottles in your range kit, check out the new line of Montana X-Treme cleaners. These are now packaged in unbreakable aluminum containers. That’s a smart idea that makes a quality product even more attractive. While we like Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner for regular cleaning, the Montana X-Treme Copper Killer is one of the most effective solvents you can buy for stubborn copper fouling. Copper Killer is used by many top benchrest shooters.

Aluminum Bottle Montana X-Treme

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February 23rd, 2011

Cowboy Action World Championship Tonight on Shooting USA

End of Trail SASSTonight, Feb. 23, at 8:00 pm on the Outdoor Channel, Shooting USA features End of Trail, the Cowboy Action World Championship. Hosted annually at the SASS Founders Ranch in New Mexico, End of Trail attracts over 1,000 shooters, hailing from 50 states and many foreign countries. SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society, is one of the most popular shooting organizations on the planet, having issued over 90,000 member badges. For SASS members, End of Trail represents the Superbowl and World Series combined.

End of Trail SASS

If you like multi-gun competition, you’ll enjoy watching Cowboy Action Matches. The top male and female shooters are experts with three kinds of firearms: Lever Rifle, Single-Action Revolver, and Shotgun (which can be a double-barrel side-by-side, or a pump, or even an 1887 lever-action). The guns must be originals or reproductions made prior to 1898 to be used in competition. A typical stage will require 5 shots from each of two six guns, ten rounds from the rifle, chambered in a pistol caliber, and 6 to 8 shotgun rounds.

End of Trail SASS

24 Rounds from Four Guns in under 13 Seconds
To give you an idea of the action you can see tonight on Shooting USA, here is a video of past world Champion Spencer Hogland, aka “Lead Dispencer”. In this video, Spencer fires 24 rounds, with four guns, in just 12.81 seconds (look at the timer in lower right corner). Spencer shows blazing speed with his lever gun and note how quickly he loads his shotgun. Fast loading is key to a successful stage run. Unlike modern multi-gun comps, normally Cowboy Action Shooters must start with empty shotguns.

YouTube Preview Image
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February 23rd, 2011

Pentax 3-15x50mm Ultimate Zoom Scope Just $139.95

One of the most interesting products we saw at SHOT Show 2011 was a Pentax riflescope with a motor-driven 3-15X power zoom. You can change magnification at the push of a button, just like on a modern camera. We looked through this Pentax “Ultimate Zoom” scope and it seemed clear and sharp. We thought it was a good deal at the normal mid-$300 price. Now get this, even while other vendors are retailing the scope for $349.00, Amazon.com has dropped its price to just $139.95. And shipping is free! This special sale may only last a few days, so don’t delay.

UPDATE: This Scope SOLD OUT at the $139.95 price. Current best price on Amazon.com is $212.99. We told you it was a great deal!

Pentax Marketing Demo — Ultimate Zoom
YouTube Preview Image

Why a Power Zoom Makes Sense
We’re puzzled why this scope is not more popular. We figure that shooters are simply skeptical about new technology. But think about it, you probably have a camera and maybe a pair of binoculars with a power zoom. This technology has been around for years. And, for a hunting scope, it makes great sense. While scanning for prey, you can quickly zoom out for a wide field of view, and then zoom in to make the shot. The unit we looked at worked flawlessly and the battery driven motor was quiet. You control the magnification with a push-pad on a cable. Parallax control is via the adjustable front objective. Honestly, for $139.95, this Editor is very tempted to purchase one myself.

Pentax Ultimate Zoom

The Pentax Ultimate Zoom features a 30mm main tube, 1/4-MOA clicks, and Plex reticle. It weighs 28.0 ounces and is 14.3″ long. The scope, which is waterproof and fog-proof, is backed by the Pentax “Worry-Free” warranty.

GREAT DEAL on Pentax Spotting Scopes

While you’re shopping on Amazon.com, you’ll find the straight-body Pentax PF-80ED Spotting Scope on sale for just $619.95, while the angled-body version is just $684.95. Shipping is Free. NOTE: Eyepieces are extra. This is a very high-quality 80mm spotting scope with ED Glass. We’ve tested this spotter, and its performance is very, very close to the finest European spotting scopes costing three times as much. It’s hard to go wrong with a PF-80ED at these prices. Pentax eyepieces for this spotter are superb — some of the best sold by any optics maker.

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February 23rd, 2011

Big Discounts Offered to IHEA Hunter Safety Instructors

The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) is always looking for qualified volunteer instructors to assist with Hunter instruction and safety programs in North America. Since its inception, the IHEA has served as the primary resource for information on hunter education; has promoted programs which prevent hunting accidents; and has worked to cultivate honesty, self-discipline, self-reliance, responsible behavior, and good citizenship among hunters.

IHEA Hunter Safety

Significant Discounts for Certified IHEA Instructors
To encourage qualified individuals to serve as IHEA Hunter-Safety instructors, numerous “big name” manufacturers offer significant discounts on firearms and/or shooting products to certified IHEA instructors. You can save up to 55% on optics, and up to 40% on the purchase price of firearms. Below are some of the current discounts offered by IHEA partners to certified instructors. This is only a partial list. CLICK HERE for a complete list of special offers for IHEA instructors. NOTE: For some product lines, certified instructors must log in with their passwords to see the current discounted pricing offers.

Beretta USA: Certified IHEA instructors receive wholesale pricing on select Beretta long guns.

Burris Optics: IHEA instructors and law enforcement officers receive a 50% discount on their optics and other items.

CVA: Hunter Education Instructors receive a 40% discount on CVA Muzzleloading Rifles and Supplies.

CZ-USA: Significant Discount on CZ-USA centerfire, rimfire and shotguns.

Henry Repeating Arms Co.: IHEA instructors can purchase basic model lever guns and bolt-action guns for approximately 33% off normal retail. Instructor Price List.

Leupold: IHEA Instructors may purchase Leupold products for their instructional use at special pricing plus one optic a year for their own personal use at special pricing.

Ruger: Ruger offers certified Hunter Education Instructors specific product discounts on purchasing Ruger firearms.

Savage Arms: Special discounted pricing to enable certified Instructors to purchase a rifle.

Smith & Wesson: S&W offers a limited number of guns to instructors certified by the IHEA program. Guns are to be used for training activities only and are not intended for resale.

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February 22nd, 2011

U.S. Gun Production Rises to 5.4 Million Firearms in 2009

According to the latest Firearm Manufacturing and Export Report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), U.S. firearm manufacturers produced more than 5.4 million firearms in 2009. That’s a big increase compared to the start of the decade in 2001, when less than 3,000,000 firearms were manufactured by U.S. companies. In recent years, production of both handguns and long guns has grown significantly, as show in the graph below, prepared by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) based on ATF records from 1984-2009.

Firearms production chart

The ATF data (from 1984-2009) reveals some interesting trends:

  • Total firearms produced in 2009 topped 5.4 million, exceeding the previous high total in 1994.
  • Over 3,000,000 long guns were produced in 2009, the highest quantity in the past 25 years.
  • The total number of firearms sold in 2009 works out to one gun for every 57 citizens, based on the 2009 U.S. population of 305,529,237.
  • After a decade-long decline, handgun production rose dramatically from 2004-2009. If trends continue, in a few more years, pistol sales could out-number long gun sales.

NSSF research has updated its 14-page Industry Intelligence Report, titled Firearms Production in the United States, with the most recent data on U.S. production of pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns. Additional updated data found in this report include: Annual Survey of Manufacturers figures and U.S. International Trade Commission firearm import and export figures. The report is available for free to NSSF members by logging into the members section of the NSSF website, clicking “NSSF Industry Research” and then clicking “Industry Intelligence Reports.” For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

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February 22nd, 2011

Cabela’s FREE Shipping Offer — Valid Through March 1st

Cabelas.com just announced that it is offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $150.00 or more. This offer is valid through March 1, 2011 and you must use Discount Code 2WSHIP when checking out through the online shopping cart. This is a good deal, as shipping on small items is often a significant percentage of the cost. NOTE: The FREE Shipping offer does not cover hazmat charges, and some large and heavy items are excluded; also firearms shipments are excluded. The offer covers standard shipping to U.S. addresses only. CLICK HERE for more details.

Free Shipping on Orders of $150 or More with Code 2WSHIP

Free Shipping on Orders $150 (or more) with code 2WSHIP — Valid until 3/1/2011.

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February 20th, 2011

FREE Ballistics Program from Berger Bullets

Berger Ballistics ProgramThere’s a lot of buzz about ballistics programs for smartphones. Those are handy, to be sure, but most people still need a solid, full-featured program to run on their home computers. Berger Bullets offers a sophisticated ballistics programs for MS Windows computers that works really well, and lets you print out results. Up-to-Date G7 BCs for Berger projectiles are built-in to the program, and the price is right — FREE.

CLICK HERE to Download Berger Ballistics Program

The program is basic enough to be easy to use, but flexible enough to allow you to calculate custom ballistics for your rifle and load. The program accounts for all the basic external ballistic parameters including bullet BC and muzzle velocity, atmospherics, uphill/downhill shooting, etc. The output tabulates velocity, energy and time of flight as a function of range. Bullet path and wind deflection are displayed in your choice of inches, centimeters, MOA or MILS.

Instructions for Program
On the Berger Bullets Blog (1/26/2010), You’ll find a description of program features and a complete set of instructions. Here are instructions for the bullet variables: “The bullet inputs are straightforward. The BC can be entered in reference to either the G1 or G7 standard. You can find the G1 or G7 BC for your bullet either printed on the bullet box label, or on our products page. For accurate results, you should measure the muzzle velocity with a good chronograph. If you don’t have access to a chronograph, you can estimate the muzzle velocity based on your load data.”

Tips for Best Results
Bryan Litz includes tips on getting the most from the Berger Ballistics program. Some of Bryan’s suggestions will also help you when working with other ballistics software:

G1 vs. G7 BC: The accuracy of the ballistic solution is only as accurate as the inputs you give it. The advertised BCs for Berger bullets are established by actual field firing tests over long range and are very accurate. Using the properly referenced BC (G7 vs. G1) for the bullet you’re modeling is important. For any bullet with a boat tail, we recommend using the G7 BC.

Muzzle Velocity: Knowing your true muzzle velocity is important when calculating external ballistics. It’s best to measure your muzzle velocity directly with a chronograph.

Altitude and Atmosphere: If you want a truly accurate long-range trajectory prediction, you can’t ignore atmospheric effects. This is especially true the farther you get from standard conditions (sea level altitude, 59 degrees Fahrenheit, 0% humidity).

Scope Verification: It’s important to verify the most important link between the calculated ballistics and your point of impact: your scope. If the ballistics program calculates 30.0 MOA of drop for a particular shot, and you dial your scope to 30.0 MOA, are you sure it’s giving you exactly 30.0 MOA? In reality, many scopes have enough error in them to cause misses at long range. It’s important to verify the value of your scope clicks by firing groups at short range.

If you have further questions not answered on Berger’s Blog Page, email Bryan.Litz [at] bergerbullets.com. NOTE: If your computer won’t run the program, please download and install this Java update: http://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp. This is a Windows PC program. You may have problems trying to run it on a MAC in emulation.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 8 Comments »
February 20th, 2011

Natchez Offers Big Discounts on Swarovski Scopes

Natchez Shooters Supplies is currently running a major promotion on Swarovski optics. If you are looking for an extremely high quality hunting scope or target scope, you should check out the deals at Natchez. Here are some examples:

Swarovski  Scope

Swarovski Scope

Swarovski Spotting ScopeSwarovski Spotting Scopes
Swarovski Spotting Scopes and eyepieces are also on sale. The outstanding Swaro 80mm STM HD is marked down from $3,110.00 to $2,520.00, while the compact Swaro 65mm STM 65 (Straight Body) spotter is discounted from $1,521.11 to $1,240.00. The Swarovski Optik 20-60XS Oculars Eyepiece is also discounted from $665.56 to $539.00, a 19% savings.

NOTE: Sale inventories are limited, and prices are subject to change.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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February 19th, 2011

Mid-Winter Shooting Report from Thunder Bay

It may be winter, but that didn’t prevent Forum member James F. (and his girlfriend Siiri) from firing up their snowmobiles and heading out for a fun day of shooting. Now that’s dedication! James, who hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, offers this report….

A Sunny Day for Shooting in Thunder Bay
It was almost +10° C today and sunny so my girlfriend and I went shooting. Just thought I would share some photos. I’m in the process of breaking in my Savage model 12 LRPV in .204 Ruger. About a 15-minute snowmobile ride from our houses, we have our own private 900-yard range, with zero elevation change (it’s a lake in summer time). And I got to play with my new toy. My girlfriend Siiri bought me a Kestrel 3500 weather station.

Below is my Savage 17HMR, which has a Vortex Viper 3-9X40mm. Siiri also shoots a Savage 17HMR.

And this is my new Savage model 12 chambered in .204 Ruger. This has a Vortex Viper 6.5-20X50 on Burris extreme tactical rings, with a Ken Farrell 20 MOA base. The rings I bought ended up being way too high. I didn’t realize how tall a Farrell base was. I ordered rings that are 1/2″ lower. So for now I used rubber bands and a towel to make the stock taller. Very high-tech, as you can see:

Savage Shines with Factory .204 Ammo
Today ended up being a very good day. I decided to try shooting at 200 yards to see how my .204 would group. I ended up shocking myself — I shot a 0.231″, 3-shot group. (0.435-0.204=0.231″). That is with Hornady 32gr factory ammo. Can’t complain with those results! I think we are going shooting again soon. But the weather is supposed to be -10° C so it’s not going to be as nice. But I made a gong and I need to try it out. I’m also going to test some loads in the model 12.

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February 19th, 2011

Range Development Conference Next Month in Nashville

Here’s an important item for shooting range owners and directors of shooting clubs. The NRA’s Field Operations group offers a series of Range Development & Operations Conferences for shooting range operators. In 2011, these are scheduled for: Nashville, TN (March 26-30), Buffalo, NY (June 4-8), and Reno, NV (October 15-19).

NRA Range Development Conference

Each NRA Range Development & Operations Conference is a five-day course that covers the fundamentals of building, owning, and maintaining a shooting facility. The $450.00 conference fee gives range operators five days with America’s top range development experts who will share their knowledge and experience. Topics covered will include:

  • Creating a business plan
  • Dealing with zoning boards
  • Environmental sound
  • Insurance issues
  • Meeting OSHA standards
  • Range maintenance
  • Range safety

“There are a number of unforeseen issues that arise when people begin the process of building a range,” said Senior Range Services Coordinator Kara Schlifke. “We can help you successfully navigate those minefields. And for those with an operation already up a running, there are always new issues and regulations to address.”

How to Register for Conferences
The next conference is coming up soon — March 26-30 in Nashville. Register online at www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/development.asp. For more information, call 877-NRA-RANGE or email Kara Schlifke at range@nrahq.org.

Story by Lars Dalseide for The NRA Blog.
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February 18th, 2011

Varmint Hunter Association Web Store Has Nice Gifts

The Varmint Hunters Association (VHA) has expanded its online store so now you can purchase clothing, hats, coasters, mugs, license plate frames, belt-buckles, and other small gift items. As before, you can still order official VHA patches and purchase back-issues of Varmint Hunter Magazine. To order any VHA product or clothing item, visit the VHA online store at VarmintHunter.org/shop/.

Here are some clothing items we liked:

And here are some gift and miscellaneous items:

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February 18th, 2011

Lapua Offers FREE Ballistics App for Java-Compatible Phones

Free Lapua Ballistics AppLapua now offers a FREE ballistics program for modern smart phones that run Java Apps. (Unfortunately, that excludes Apple iPhones and Android OS phones, but Lapua says that the majority of smartphones run Java). The program calculates drift and drop, and it corrects for altitude, temp, air pressure, and shot angle. The Lapua Ballistics App also includes a database of Lapua bullet profiles with ultra-reliable radar-derived Ballistic Coefficients. Sound good? Now go get your smart phone. The program must be downloaded with a mobile phone. Open a web browser in your smart-phone and navigate to www.lapua.com/ballistics and choose the correct version for your phone.

Lapua’s exterior ballistic software for mobile phones is capable of predicting trajectories in real time with extreme accuracy. Using Lapua Ballistics, there is no need for checking tables and calculating cosines for inclination compensation (you still have to input the angle). The program also compensates for the effect of cartridge temperature on muzzle velocity and the effect of atmospheric conditions on the projectile’s trajectory.

Lapua Ballistics is based on precise Doppler Radar measurements of actual bullet drag — professional data available only for Lapua bullets. Lapua Ballistics can be installed on all smartphones supporting basic Java (Java MIDP 2.0). NOTE: Apple iPhone and Android platforms do not support Java ME.

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February 18th, 2011

Black Hills Offers Lead-Free Hunting Ammo and New 5.56 Ammo

Black Hills Ammunition (BHA) produces high-quality new and remanufactured ammo. Black Hills remanufactured .223 Rem and .308 Win ammo is popular with tactical shooters because it is cost-effective, yet very accurate since it is loaded with premium match-grade bullets. Black Hills has now come out with a line of hunting ammunition using the very accurate Hornady GMX (Gilding Metal eXpanding) lead-free projectiles. New loads include: 80gr .243 Win; 120gr .260 Rem; 120gr 6.5-.284 Norma; 130gr 270 Win; 150gr .308 Win; 150gr .30-06; 139gr 7mm RemMag; and 165gr 300 WinMag.

5.56 mm ammo SMK

The GMX (Gilding Metal eXpanding) bullets are constructed of gilding metal, the same material used for bullet jackets. GMX bullets expand quickly and reliably upon impact, and retain nearly 100% of their weight. These GMX bullets contain no lead, making them a good choice for areas that restrict use of lead-cored bullets. To learn more, contact Black Hills Ammunition at (605) 348-5150.

5.56 mm ammo SMKNew Black Hills 5.56 Ammo
For 2011, Black Hills is releasing two new 5.56mm offerings for commercial sale. First, it offers a new match load with 77gr Sierra MatchKings (SMKs). The new 5.56mm ammo pushes the 77gr SMKs at 2750 fps from a 20″ barrel. According to Black Hills: “this load delivers sub-minute accuracy consistently from 10-shot groups.”

Next, Black Hills is making its 50gr police 5.56mm load available to the public. The BHA 5.56mm 50gr TSX load was developed for U.S. law enforcement. This load utilizes a specially-built version of Barnes Bullet Company’s TSX bullet. It provides expansion to .50 caliber immediately upon impact and consistently penetrates to an ideal average penetration depth of 14″ in ballistic gelatin. Black Hills calls this “an ideal civilian defense or law enforcement patrol-rifle round” that works well through a variety of barrel lengths.

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